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Survived Budget Presentation

I survived my first budget presentation here. It went fine. I feel a little uncomfortable because I used only 35 minutes of the hour allotted and got out early. But I had time for everyone’s questions, so maybe ending early isn’t such a bad thing.  Plus, keep in mind that my request was only 6 pages long as opposed to last year’s 54 pages.The questions were good ones–supportive generally. I got the vibe that folks want to fund our projects; they’re looking for reasons to say yes, not excuses to say no.

Budget presentation submitted

Huge weight off my shoulders. This is a presentation required if you want a budget increase. To put this in perspective: last year’s submission (before my time) was 54 pages long and sought $450K in ongoing money and about $625K in one time funds…. mine is 6 pages long and seeks $130K ongoing and $400K in one time funds. Last year, we received $140K ongong and about $300K in one time funds. In my presentation I show how we’re reallocating to redistribute another $130K more effectively. So, I figure I’ve showed them how I’m saving $130K, thereby preventing this from … Continue Reading

Choose Your Own Budget Cut: the Univ. of AZ way

The University of Arizona has announced a really clever way to cut money, generate new ideas, and promote transparency in decision making: they’re soliciting white paper proposals as part of their “Transformation Information and Communication” plan. So far, 75 teams of faculty and staff have submitted proposals. You can read them all online. In particular, their CIO submitted one on “Transforming Technology Support” and the comments alone show the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding 1) central and/or/vs decentral IT and 2) public comments generally.

I did the math and our budget is too high. No, really.

What happened? Where did I go wrong? I’m preparing my budget presentation for next fiscal year and so I thought I’d get some comparison data from peer and “next step” school. I used Educause’s Core Data service and looked at operating budget, compensation budget, and IT budget as percent of institutional operating budget. In all cases our numbers were higher than our national peers and our regional peers, and we were almost the same as our “next step” schools (the more highly ranked and competitive schools). And as excellent as we are, I’m 100% confident we’re not that good.

In my … Continue Reading

End of Fiscal Year

Today is the last day of our fiscal year. We underspent our budget by $155,000. This is very sad and my only excuse is that I’ve been here for just 4 months. Soon, I will have no excuse. Overspending and underspending your budget by more than a percent or so is, imho, a sign of bad management. I’ve seen many more leaders underspend than overspend, so I think people don’t understand how much you look like a failure when you don’t spend your budget. Basically, severe underspending says, “remember all that work you did to get me the money … Continue Reading